The American Connection

2 nights starting from
£499

  • Private tour and dinner at Sulgrave Manor, George Washington's ancestral home

  • Lamport Hall - Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee both descend from the Isham family

  • Afternoon tea at Fawsley Hall - an early Puritan home

  • Kelmarsh Hall - with décor by American socialite Nancy Lancaster

  • Ecton Church - home to Benjamin Franklin's ancestors

2020 marked the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Pilgrim Fathers aboard the Mayflower and this superb tour was designed and launched to coincide with this historic anniversary. Regrettably, COVID19 meant that we could not operate the tour, so it was postponed until 2021 and repeated in 2022, thanks to its popularity. It remains a fascinating look at some of the eminent Americans who shaped the future of the new country, but whose family histories reside in Northamptonshire. The highlight of the tour is a private tour of Sulgrave Manor, with private dinner in the barn, the ancestral home of the USA’s first president, George Washington. The tour visits the locations of other prominent Americans, such as Benjamin Franklin and will look at the religious and political landscape that set the tone for the establishment of the USA.

Available Departures

From

03 - September - 2022 £ 499.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive independently from 15.00 at the Northampton Marriott.
This evening there will be a welcome reception, private dinner with wine and a talk, ‘The American Connection' from Mike Ingram.

Day 2: Lamport Hall, St Giles Church and Sulgrave Manor with dinner.
Our investigation into the American connection with this distinctly English part of the country, starts with Lamport Hall, home to the Isham family, from whom both Thomas Jefferson and Robert E Lee both descend. The 12th earl, Sir Gyles Isham, pursued an acting career in Holywood in the 1930s. After lunch (included at Lamport Hall) we then visit St Giles Church in Northampton, where Robert Browne is buried. He was the first separatist and all but two of the Pilgrim Fathers were followers of Browne's teachings. He is considered the father of the Congregational body in the English-speaking world, and "The Father of the Pilgrims" and Grandfather of the Nation. We then return to the hotel for time to freshen up before heading to Sulgrave Manor. Here, we will enjoy a private tour of the atmospheric manor house, which was the home of George Washington's English ancestors and a place of pilgrimage for many Americans. After the tour we will enjoy a welcome reception with prosecco and canapes in the garden (weather permitting) followed by dinner with wine in the Barn. 

Day 3: Ecton Chruch, Kelmarsh Hall, St Mary's Fawsley and tea at Fawsley Hall.
A packed day in prospect as we head first to the village of Ecton and its church. Ecton was home to Benjamin Franklin's ancestors for over 300 years, many of them blacksmiths on the site where the Three Horseshoes pub now stands, and many buried in the churchyard with a plaque dedicated to Benjamin Franklin inside. Then to Kelmarsh Hall, (light lunch included) built in the 1730s for the Hanbury family but redesigned by early 20th century society decorator, the American Nancy Lancaster, whose spirit pervades the house today. Finally, to St Mary's church at Fawsley and the Fawsley Hall Hotel, home to some of the earliest known Puritans in Northamptonshire and so the start of the story. A farewell afternoon tea will be served before returning to our hotel for approximately 17.30.

Please note: Post tour extra nights are available at a supplement

NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion. 

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 48 passengers.

INCLUDED

  • Two nights’ bed and breakfast at the four-star Northampton Marriott Hotel, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Welcome reception
  • First night private three-course dinner with wine at the hotel
  • Second night welcome reception, canapés and dinner with wine at Sulgrave Manor
  • Two light lunches and an afternoon tea
  • All talks, guided tours and admissions
  • Coach touring itinerary and tour manager throughout

NOT INCLUDED

  • Transport to the hotel is not included
  • Double for Sole Use supplement 
  • Extra nights on bed and breakfast basis 
  • Holiday insurance 
  • Meals other than those stated 
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc 
  • Porterage and gratuities

HOTEL

Northampton Marriott Hotel

Modern four-star hotel just off the M1, so easy to reach from all directions. We have been sending our guests here for a decade or more to general acclaim. Facilities include a restaurant, bar and indoor pool/leisure centre.

Parking: complimentary

Hotel Website

MORE INFO - Please click here to see full details of this tour

Tour Manager/joint expert historian - Mike Ingram

Mike Ingram is a medieval historian, author and lecturer and a Freeman of the Ancient Borough of Northampton He regularly leads tours around medieval battlefields and is also chairman of the Northampton Battlefields Society. His latest books include "Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth" and "Northampton:5,000 years of history".

Please note that all our UK tours start and finish at the relevant hotel.  

You can normally check in from 3pm onwards but hotels will always be happy to store your luggage if you arrive earlier in the day. 

For full details of how to get to the hotel, directions and the nearest train station, please click on the hotel website or call our office for details. These will also be sent automatically with your confirmation. 

The welcome reception and first evening dinner / talk will commence at about 7pm - full details will be sent with your joining instructions about 10 days prior to the arrival date. 

 

Administation
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Overall Impression

Once again, Mike has put together an absolutely brilliant tour. - Learnt so much from his wonderful pre-tour talk.

Review by Wallburton who travelled 04-September-2021


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Overall Impression

Overall the tour was excellent. The places visited were very interesting, although I felt that the American Connection was somewhat weak at a couple of the venues. The guides were all excellent. The meal at Sulgrave Manor was delightful as was the afternoon tea at Fowsley Hall. However the lunch at Kelmarsh was so substantial that it was hard to do justice to the tea! In contrast the light lunch on the previous day was extremely light, just a bowl of soup. I expected to learn more about the Mayflower, the people who sailed on her and their experience on arriving in America but I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and look forward to my next Travel Editions tour.

Review by williamson who travelled 04-September-2021


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Overall Impression

Beautiful countryside and villages. Wonderful properties visited . Tour guides good

Review by Anonymous who travelled 04-September-2021


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Overall Impression

We booked to stay another night. Your brochure stated evening meal, bed & breakfast. Hotel said only B & B. However, having had two large meals for lunch & afternoon tea, We did not want the evening meal anyway. Hotel room was very hot overnight, the air condition machine was too noisey to have on.

Review by Leeds who travelled 04-September-2021


Administation
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Overall Impression

Though the places we saw was good we had an opportunity to meet longer with the congregation of St Giles. The tour managers were not expecting to see people from the church but since it was a Sunday its not surprising.

Review by a who travelled 04-September-2021


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Overall Impression

Another super tour. Accommodation was excellent (especially my bathroom.) Food at the hotel wasn't quite as good as previously, but still fine and it was super to have a glass of Cava at the welcome reception! The private dinner at Sulgrave Manor was well above expected.

Review by Nicholls who travelled 04-September-2021


Administation
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Overall Impression

The hotel breakfast choices were not great. I couldn't get an oatmilk latte and the scrambled egg was very hard and dry. The cereal choices were limited. I ended up with just a banana and a bowl of fresh fruit. I think chain hotels in general need to think about their offering. Move with the times and think about what people want. Eggs cooked to order would be a good start. On the Gunpowder Plot trip we commented that lunch followed closely by afternoon tea makes for a lot of wasted food. The first light lunch we had was soup and a roll. Very light indeed! The second light lunch was much more substantial, but almost immediately followed by afternoon tea. Please address this issue. It was a huge talking point. The dinner at Sulgrave was superb. The tour guides at all the properties were excellent. The information emailed out before we travelled was completely inconsistent regarding meals. Some pages said one lunch (not two) and omitted to mention afternoon tea. In another section the extra night showed as dinner, bed and breakfast. Elsewhere it was correctly shown as bed and breakfast. This resulted in the hotel having to call Travel Editions for clarification. Embarrassing all round. Including the extra night dinner would have been well over the top anyway, as this was on the same day as afternoon tea! Giving the right information just once would work much better than having to plough through repetitions and inconsistencies in the various sections of the documentation. I do understand, though, that these are not normal times for Travel Editions staff or for the hotel, so very well done for an enjoyable event. Thank you.

Review by Grainger who travelled 04-September-2021


Administation
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Overall Impression

The American Connection was very lean we thought. The Tour Manager did not take into consideration elderly less able passengers when getting off the coach and walking, either to the Houses or in the Street, consequently they got very spread out over some distance, not good.

Review by Jacques who travelled 04-September-2021


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